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10. Byrteh, Bishop of Worcester, to Wulmere, land in Easttune. Latin. No witnesses. [1033-1038.]

11. Lyfing, Bishop (of Worcester), to Earcytel, Land in Tapenhalan. Dat. 1038. Latin, with Anglo-Saxon boundaries.

12. Leofine, Bishop (of Worcester), with license of Hardicanute, King, to JEgelric, land at Eadmundescotan. Dat. 1044? Witnesses Anglo-Saxon.

13. Ealdred, Bishop of Worcester, to Balwine, land in Pesttun. Latin. (1046-1062.)

14. Ealdred, Bishop of Worcester, to Dodda, land at NorStun. Dat. 1058. Latin, with Anglo-Saxon boundaries. Witnesses.

15. Edward, King (Confessor), appointment of Wulstan, Bishop of Worcester. (1062.) Anglo-Saxon.

Among a very large collection of early Charters of the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries maybe mentioned one of the Empress Maude; another by David, Earl of Huntingdon, afterwards King of Scotland; Arnoul, Bishop of Lisieux; K. Earl of Warwick; St. Hugh, Bishop of Lincoln.

The collection of the Eaxl of Macclesfield is important. The correspondence of George Stepney, during the period he was employed as the King's Commissary and deputy in Saxony, and his negotiation at Dusseldorf, Erankfort, and the Hague, is highly interesting, and not less so are his letters in connexion with the Elector Palatine, and the Elector of Treves.

His letters from Vienna are a great addition to the political history of that period. The specimen, at p. 39 of the Appendix, of a calendar of these papers, which we recommend to he compiled, will give some notion of the nature of this correspondence.

Among the Earl of Macclesfield's papers, are also many unpublished autograph letters of Prior, which cannot fail to add much interesting information relating to his times.

The correspondence of Cressett while engaged in negotiations at several German courts, hut more particularly at Hanover, Zell, and Hamburgh, cannot fail to contribute an important page to the history of Europe at the latter end of the seventeenth and the beginning of the eighteenth century. There is, however, a most important fact connected with the papers of the Earl of Macclesfield. They supply many gaps in the national collections of papers in the Public Record Office.

Copies of these papers wul be made, with the permission of the Earl of Macclesfield, and placed among the semi-official documents in the office, commonly called " Transcripts," a large collection of which already exists there.

The very valuable collection at Tabley House, Cheshire, belonging to Lord de Tabley, is described by Mr. Horwood in his report, printed at p. 46.

Among the valuable documents in the Phelips' collection, preserved at Montacute House, in Somersetshire, was found, under the unpromising words, " Law Papers," a collection of documents relating to the Gunpowder Plot. These papers were quite unknown to their proprietor, and probably have not been seen by any member of the family since they were tied up in 1612.

Permission was liberally given to have transcripts of the papers made, and deposited in the Public Record Office, for general use. Mr. Phelips' collection also abounds with valuable and interesting documents, an account of which will be found in the Appendix, p. 57.

No sooner did it come to the knowledge of the Duke of \ Bedford that Your Majesty had issued this Commission than, without an application, his Grace forwarded to the Commissioners the calendar of his valuable collection at Woburn Abbey, and expressed his willingness to open his muniments to the inspection of the Commissioners, a privilege of which they intend hereafter to avail themselves.

It would be unjust to Viscount Midleton not to state that he kindly brought to the Commissioners an' inventory of his papers for their information. The collection, though not extensive, is very interesting. (See Appendix, p. 44.)

The Dean and Chapter of Westminster have also greatly aided the Commissioners in their inquiry by sending for their information an account of the documents preserved in their muniment room. The inventory in question contains much valuable information, and the Dean and Chapter would be rendering an essential service to historical literature by permitting the miscellanea in the inventory to be printed. (See Appendix, p. 94.)

The papers of Mr. T. E. P. Lefroy are very valuable for historical purposes. He obligingly forwarded to the Commissioners a catalogue of his documents prepared by himself, a few excerpts from which catalogue are printed in the Appendix, p. 56, for the purpose of showing the nature of Mr. Lefroy's collection.

The Commissioners are also indebted to Mr. Alraack, of Melford, in Suffolk, for his politeness in sending for their inspection a catalogue which he had compiled of his valuable papers. (Appendix, p. 55.)

The Rev. John James, in the hope of affording some information to the Commissioners, laid before them the contents of a small collection relating to the See of Salisbury, being very small in bulk. Mr. James's communication will be found at p. 90 of the Appendix.

The Spanish papers which Colonel Napier sent for the inspection of the Commissioners have no relation to England; a brief notice of their contents will be found in the Appendix, p. 57.

Mr. Henry Ingall, in the belief that he had discovered in a drama entitled Albumazar (attributed by him to Shakespeare), some marginal notes, which he supposes to be in the handwriting of Shakespeare, laid the play with other interesting papers before the Commissioners.

Mr. A. J. Horwood, one of the inspectors on whom the examination of collections in private hands has chiefly devolved, has made a very interesting report (printed at p. 12) on the papers of the Duke of Manchester, preserved in Kimbolton Castle.

He has also furnished the Commissioners with a report on the small collection of the Marquis of Lothian, at Blickling Hall, Norfolk. (See Appendix, p. 14.)

The collection of Mr. Harvey, in 58 volumes, was obligingly sent by him for the inspection of the Commissioners. Mr. Horwood's report on the subject will be found at p. 62 of the Appendix.

Lord Mostyn forwarded a chest of papers for the information of the Commissioners, an account of them by Mr. A. J. Horwood will be found at p. 44.

The letters which were in some confusion, have been arranged according to dates, and bound up in 10 volumes, at the expense of the Commission.

His Lordship also placed before the Commissioners a catalogue of his valuable library at Mostyn, which contains a most important collection of manuscripts relating to English history and to the principality of Wales.

The muniments preserved at Dunster Castle (thrown open to the inspection of the Commissioners by their owner, Mr. Luttrell,) are valuable. They were arranged, and a careful catalogue of them made by the celebrated "William Prynne, while he was "detained there by Mr. Bradshaw and his companions at Whitehall," a captive there for eight months. It will be seen by the report, p. 56, that valuable as Mr. . Luttrell's collection is, it contains comparatively but little which may be made available for general history; but for local history, the information is abundant.

Sir Thomas Winnington, Bart., permitted Mr. Horwood to inspect, on behalf of the Commissioners, his MSS. at Stanford Court. How interesting and valuable they are, will be seen by the report at p. 53.

Mr. Tollemache's very choice collection has also been inspected by Mr. Horwood. His report at p. 60 will be read with the interest and attention the collection so well merits.

The papers at Crome Court, to which the Earl of Coventry very obligingly gave access to the Commissioners, are chiefly the official papers of Sir Thomas Coventry, afterwards Lord Coventry, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, and will probably disclose much information of public and private interest. Mr. Horwood's preliminary examination of Lord Coventry's collection will be found in his report at p. 34.

The valuable and miscellaneous collection belonging to the Earl of St. Germans at Port Eliot has been visited by Mr. Horwood, on behalf of the Commissioners. That gentleman has made an interesting report on the subject, printed at p. 41. The papers are highly valuable for biographical and political purposes, and many have been used by Mr. John Eorster in his Life of Sir John Eliot.

Among the letters are several from the historian, Edward Gibbon, which are particularly interesting, and throw considerable light on his parliamentary career, a subject but barely touched in his Autobiography.

At Trelawne, in Cornwall, the seat of Sir John Salusbury Trelawny, Bart., there is a valuable collection of papers which he permitted the inspector to examine for the purposes of the Commission.

The report (Appendix, p. 50) made on the occasion will be read with much satisfaction.

The Duke of Rutland threw open his noble collection at Belvoir to the Commissioners. A report on the contents of his muniment room is printed at p. 10.

The Earl of Zetland gave permission to the Commissioners to examine his collection. It is not large, hut some of the papers in it may he serviceable in any future history of the Rebellion of 1745. (See Appendix, p. 44.)

Lord Leigh placed before the Commissioners two very valuable manuscripts relating to Stoneleigh Abbey. A short account of them is reserved for another occasion.

Mr. Stevenson inspected, at the desire of Lord Herries, the collection of manuscripts at Everingham Park. The report will be found at p. 45.

His report on the Shrewsbury papers is very interesting, especially those of Sir Gilbert Talbot, Deputy Governor of Calais, under Henry VII., and Henry VIII. (See Appendix, p. 50.) Two of these papers relate to Perkyn Warbeck, of whose history so little is known. King Henry VII. details to Sir Gilbert, Warbeck's expulsion from Scotland, his wanderings, and his arrival in Ireland.

Besides these, there are several royal letters from Henry VII. and Henry VIII., Elizabeth of York, Catharine of Aragon, Charles II., and James II., and there are also important letters from Cardinal Wolsey.

The manuscripts belonging to the College of St. Mary Oscott, near Birmingham, are described by Mr. Stevenson at p. 89.

Among them may be noticed a volume, entitled "Londinum Antiquum," being an account of whatever is ancient and curious in the Cities of London and Westminster; and a journal of a student in the English College at Rome, from the 5th of June 1773 to the middle of 1779.

In the library of Ushaw College, near Durham, Mr. Stevenson (p. 91) reports the existence of several interesting papers, and among them several holographs from Alexander Pope, the poet, and a narrative, by John Portescue and Helen his wife, respecting the Gunpowder Plot.

Among the papers in the possession of Mr. Prancis Whitgreave, of Burton Manor, near Stafford, is a relation of the journey of twelve English students from St. Omer to Seville. Mr. Stevenson considers the narrative as exceedingly curious. The other manuscripts belonging to Mr. Whitgreave are described by Mr. Stevenson at p. 61.

Perhaps the most attractive of Mr. Stevenson's reports refers to the manuscripts at Buckie, on the coast of the Moray Pirth. Among the papers he mentions are 72 original letters of Mary of Scotland, two of which are entirely in the Queen's own writing, but the rest are in cipher. Mr. Stevenson's report will be found at p. 120.

Mr. H. T. Riley, the inspector to whom was assigned the responsible task of visiting those corporations, both ecclesiastical and lay, which had signified to the Commissioners their desire to have their muniments and papers examined, has made very valuable and careful reports (Appendix, pp. 63-82) relative to the collection in several colleges at Cambridge, to which he was offered access by the heads of the several houses in that university. Visits of inspection were also made by him of the records preserved in the Bishop's Registry at Norwich (p. 86) and Wells (p. 92), and in the muniment rooms of the Dean and Chapter of Norwich (p. 87), Wells (p. 93), and York (p. 97).

Mr. Riley has also communicated to us the result of his examination of the muniments belonging to the Corporations of Cambridge, Coventry, Bridgwater, Wells, York, Glastonbury, Abingdon, Nottingham, Christ's Hospital at Abingdon, and Norwich. (See pp. 98-108.)

Lord Edmond Pitzmaurice has made a short report on the documents relating to English history at Heidelberg. It will be found at p. 132.

There is a grand collection, comparatively unknown, preserved in the House of Lords, to which the Commissioners would especially refer. It was brought under their notice at their first meeting, and appeared to them of such paramount importance as to require immediate attention. So pressing did this seem to the Commissioners, that they requested three of their body, with their Secretary, to form themselves into a committee for the purpose of inspecting the documents, the existence of which had been so unexpectedly announced to them. The committee, with the permission of, and in company with, Sir John Shaw Lefevre, Clerk of the Parliaments, made a personal inspection of the collection in question, and made their report accordingly. It is printed at p. 1.

Your Majesty's Commissioners fully recognize the importance of this great collection of national papers, and earnestly join their Committee in recommending to Sir John Shaw Lefevre in the strongest manner the propriety of continuing the sorting and arrangement of the papers which he has so successfully commenced. And the Commission unanimously express a hope that the Lords Commissioners of Your Majesty's Treasury will supply the Clerk of the Parliaments with funds to carry out this most desirable and necessary work.

The manuscript materials for the history of Scotland, if not so numerous as those for England, are not the less valuable. Dr. John Stuart, whom Your Majesty's Commissioners requested to make the survey on the collections in Scotland, has furnished the Commissioners with a valuable report on the subject (p. 110), and from his wellknown acquaintance with Scotch collections and their possessors, has been able to obtain the examination of several of the most important private muniment rooms. In his report on the papers in Hamilton Palace belonging to the Duke of Hamilton, Dr. Stuart observes that in extent and importance the historical papers at Hamilton fulfil all the expectations which the circumstances of the family suggest. Dr. Stuart's report, which is replete with information, will be found at p. 112.

The Gordon papers, belonging to the Duke of Richmond, who readily consented to allow them to be inspected for the purposes of the Commission, are reported on by Dr. Stuart, in a very elaborate article (p. 114). According to his statement, the collection is of great historical and political importance, and calculated to elucidate many obscure points in the national history of Scotland.

The muniments of the Marquis of Lothian, at Newbattle, extending from 1505 to 1709, have been bound up in 15 volumes. The papers are of considerable historical interest, and curious in illustration of the manner and modes of living in Scotland. Among them are several royal letters, and three from Oliver Cromwell. The letters which occur in volumes IX., X., and XI. are all from men of political position, and exhibit traits of character in several of the writers. Dr. Stuart's report on this collection is printed at p. 116.

The Earl of Dalhousie's collection at Panmure Castle and Brechin Castle are, for the most part, of very interesting character. Among the private letters addressed, to the ancestors of the Earl of Dalhousie are several from Thomas Innes, the wellknown author of the critical essay on the early inhabitants of Scotland, which make these letters of historical value. Dr. Stuart, in his report at p. 117, notices a fine manuscript of Eordun's Chronicle, which appears to have escaped notice.

The manuscripts in the library of the University of Edinburgh are, according to Dr. Stuart's report, p. 121, neither numerous nor of great importance. Perhaps the most valuable is the copy of Eordun's Chronicle, which was the basis of Goodall's edition in 1775. The original protest by the Nobles of Bohemia and Moravia, addressed to the Council of Constance, in 1415, in reference to the burning of John Huss and Jerome of Prague, is not without historical interest.

As the contents of the Advocates' Library in Edinburgh arc generally well known, it is not necessary to do more than refer to Dr. Stuart's report. (Appendix, p. 123.)

Dr. Stuart states that the records of the Burgh of Aberdeen are the oldest and most complete of any Scottish burgh; his report on the subject (p. 121) will be perused with interest, as well as his reports on the records of the Corporations of Glasgow and Edinburgh (p. 126).

The library of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Edinburgh contains some curious manuscripts, according to Mr. Stevenson's report, p. 120. Among them is a copy, written in the 15th century, of Eordun's Scottichronicon.

Mr. J. T. Gilbert, the inspector appointed by the Commissioners for Ireland, has reported (p. 128) on the documents in the possession of Lord Talbot de Malahide, and of Mr. J. W. Bayly of Einglas. Among those in the possession of his Lordship, is a Latin poem on the affairs of Ireland during the reign of James the Second. Mr. Gilbert considers it valuable as a Jacobite account of the affairs of Ireland during the time of the Revolution. He also notices a volume in the possession of Mr. Bayly, which appears to be of some historical value. It is described as a journal of several actions performed in the Kingdom of Scotland after his Majesty's arrival there out of Holland, 24th June 1650.

The manuscripts in the possession of the Earl of Rosse at Parsonstown Castle are not without historical value. Mr. Gilbert has described them at p. 127.

The Earl of Charlemont's collection, extending from 1707 to 1799, chiefly consists of about 1,200 original letters, bound up in 12 volumes. (Appendix, p. 126.)

The writers were persons of the first eminence in politics, arts, and science, and therefore afford ample materials for biographical history.

Mr. Gilbert also reports on the collections of Mr. Hewitt of Cork, and Dr. Caulfield of the same city (Appendix, p. 128). Both collections appear to possess more local than general interest. Mr. Hewitt, however, owns some modern transcripts of documents in the Irish language, and Dr. Caulfield the visitation books of Cloyne and Cork.

"Within the last few days a collection of still greater promise for Irish history has been offered to us for examination by Dr. Lyons, of Merrion Square, Dublin—the correspondence of Archbishop King, author of the well-known " State of the Protes"tants in Ireland." On that work Lord Macaulay has drawn largely in his history of the Revolution in Ireland. He had never seen, however, the correspondence which has now been communicated to us, and which, indeed, appears to be entirely unknown. It consists of many hundred letters, ranging from 1682 to 1727. Practically, however, it may be said to commence with Dr. K ing's elevation to the See of Deny in 1691. From that date, and still more from 1701, when he was promoted to the See of Dublin, the letters, although of a miscellaneous nature, and sometimes on subjects of minor importance, for the most part relate to public affairs, and are of a highly interesting character. The list of the Archbishop's correspondents includes many eminent public men, both in Ireland and in England; as Lord Sunderland, Henry Temple (first Lord Palmerston), Lord Willoughby, Lord Weymouth, Lord Sidney, Lord Clifford, Lord Coningsby, Lord Abercorn, Lord Anglesey, Lord Mount-Alexander, Lord Mountrath. Sir Laurence Parsons, Sir Robert Southwell, Sir Richard Cox, Sir R. Bellingham, Sir Patrick Dun, founder of Sir Patrick Dun's hospital, a large number of the bishops and other dignitaries both of England and of Ireland, besides many other less prominent men, whose communications, nevertheless, relate to public affairs and throw much light on the complicated transactions of that difficult and unhappy period. Among these may be particularized General Frederick Hamilton, Dr. Howard, and Dean Story. Most of the correspondence of these writers was addressed to the Archbishop from London during the interesting debates of the early part of the reign of William and Mary; and it contains allusions, from day to day, as well to discussions on general policy, such as the Triennial Bill, the Place Bill, the Sacheverell clause, the amnesty, &c, as to transactions in which Irish interests were more immediately involved.

A considerable number of letters from Addison to the Archbishop, which formed part of this curious collection, having, with one exception, been unhappily mislaid, are for the present withheld; but Dr. Lyons has no doubt that they will be recovered, and promises to place these interesting letters also at the disposal of the Commission.

We have deposited the entire collection in the hands of our inspector for Ireland, Mr. Gilbert, to be reported upon in detail.

The municipal muniments belonging to the Corporations of Dublin, Limerick, Waterford, and Kilkenny are reported on by Mr. Gilbert at pp. 128-131.

Having thus laid before Your Majesty, as briefly as the nature of the subject admits, an account of the proceedings of Your Commissioners on Historical Manuscripts in private collections, it remains for them to state that they have only deemed it expedient to inquire what collections of manuscripts exist falling within the scope of their commission. Had the funds placed at their disposal for the appointment of inspectors been less limited, larger results would undoubtedly have been produced. The Commissioners nevertheless have no cause to express disappointment or dissatisfaction at the information they have collected. As far as their inquiries have extended, very important and valuable materials have been brought to light illustrating some of the least known periods of the history of Great Britain from the Saxon era down to the end of the seventeenth century. The Commissioners cannot but indulge the hope that with enlarged powers of compiling and publishing calendars of the more important papers that may be brought before them, they will be able to render a most essential service to the historical student, not only in this country, but throughout the civilized world.






W. Geo. Brett,


26th February 1870.

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